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NEW YORK CITY-American Eagle Outfitters’ management plans to nearly double the amount of Aerie lingerie stores it currently operates, opening 70 new units this year. Eventually the chain, which now has 39 stores, could become a $1-billion business, said CFO and EVP Joan Hilson of the Pittsburgh based retailer, speaking here at the Cowen and Co. Annual Consumer Conference.

So far this fiscal year, American Eagle Outfitters sales have roughly come in at $3 billion, so Aerie’s growth could give the company a significant boost. Right now, Aerie stores are averaging sale per sf of $400.

The company is forecasting capital expenditures of $250 million to $275 million for the year. Executives also plan to open 40 to 50 new American Eagle stores, of which there are currently just over 850 units, and undertake 50 renovations.

Hilson did not say how many new Martin + Osa stores are on tap for the year. American Eagle currently operates 19 of the stores, which target men and women between 28 and 40 years old.

Management will reveal details about a new chain, referred to as Concept 4, “shortly,” Hilson said.

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